Ghostgirl – Tonya Hurley

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Form: Audio Book

Ever feel invisible?… Charlotte Usher did. Ignored by classmates, overlooked by teachers, beneath contempt of the popular and unnoticed by the guy of her dreams, she barely registered on the map at Hawthorne High – the kind of girl no one would ever miss if she died tomorrow. And then she did. The End?
Not exactly.
Ghostgirl is the story of a misfit teenage girl who dies in a freak accident, and “wakes up” as a ghost in a parallel world, only to find that she still needs to go to class, i.e., Dead Ed, a “finishing” school for other departed teens waiting to cross over. Worst of all, she is still obsessed with all the issues of her previous life, especially her fantasy of befriending Petula, the most popular girl in school, and going to the big school dance with Petula’s hot boyfriend Damen – a desire so powerful it transcends death itself. For Charlotte, resting in peace is apparently not an option.

Source: back of audio book

One Word Summary: Bland

I have a feeling that my opinion comes mostly from the narrator. The audio book was approximately 5 hours worth of a monotoned woman’s voice, sometimes fumbling over words and rushing through phases. I was absolutely unimpressed with the performance. In fact, most of the time I was very annoyed because hearing the words that were being read – I could actually tell what type of tone and impression the author was intending, and the narrator just wasn’t getting it. Just because there was one Goth in the story (and it wasn’t Charlotte, she was just a quiet wallflower) did not mean that the entire book needed to be done in a Gothish “I-don’t-care” tone.

Okay, enough of that. The book would be decent for around 11-13 year olds. It was entertaining enough, but not over-the-top with anything. The lesson of the book was more-or-less a “you don’t have to fit in/be yourself” type message. I found it interesting that while Charlotte was the one doing everything she could to be popular and get noticed and belong, Scarlett was just being herself, and it just came naturally. She got the guy, and the popularity (to her surprise) by just being herself. Charlotte was changing who she was in an attempt to become popular, even in the afterlife she was bound and determined to do whatever it took to be noticed. This is the only part I wish Tonya Hurley would have pulled out a bit more. Charlotte does learn to accept who she was, and stop living for the living and join the dead, but it would have been nice if she had also seen that Scarlett was good enough just being who she was, she didn’t need to go through a “makeover” or anything of that nature to have friends and get a boyfriend.

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